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Odisha to Launch Fasal Surakshya Abhiyan

BHUBANESWAR: The state government has planned to launch Fasal Surakshya Abhiyan on October 1 as part of which qualified professional will be deployed in vulnerable areas, amid preliminary reports of pest attack to paddy crops in various districts.

Under the programme, the state agriculture and farmers’ empowerment department will deploy 120 final year students of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) as ‘pest scouts’.

State agriculture secretary Saurabh Garg has written letter to all district collectors in this regard. The move followed amid reports of pest attack from pockets of Sambalpur, Balangir and Ganjam districts.

The state agriculture department has also taken several initiatives to provide protection to farmers on pest attack. Besides television and newspaper advertisements on steps to be taken to combat pest attack, the village agriculture workers meeting farmers at gram panchayat level on a fixed day every week to support farmers. Text messages are also sent to registered farmers about steps to be taken.

Under the programme, one or two students will be deployed in a block and attached with the assistant agriculture officer (AAO) and the students will take up pest surveillance work in coordination with field staff and thereafter submit the surveillance datasheet.

They will also give technical advice to the farmers to combat pest attack and create awareness on it among farmers and the pest scouts will be stationed in vulnerable blocks for about next 30 to 45 days (till crop cutting).

OUAT vice chancellor Surendranath Pasupalak said, “This chance of pest attack on paddy crop is more at this stage. With proper surveillance by the students in allocation with field staffs, immediate steps can be taken. It will be a very useful practice both for the farmers and students as well.”

Last year, paddy crop in several lakh acres were damaged due to pest attack in almost all districts.


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